When a couple decides to separate, legal matters such as property division, child custody, and spousal support can be overwhelming to navigate. In New Brunswick, Canada, couples who are not legally married can enter into a common law separation agreement to help clarify these issues and protect their interests.
A common law separation agreement is a legal document that outlines how a couple will divide their assets, debts, and property after separation. It can also establish custody and access arrangements for children, as well as spousal support payments. This type of agreement can be beneficial for couples who want to avoid court proceedings and keep the separation process as amicable as possible.
In New Brunswick, a common law couple is defined as two people who have lived together in a marriage-like relationship for at least three years, or less than three years if they have a child together. Once the couple separates, they have the option to negotiate and draft a separation agreement on their own, with the help of a mediator, or through legal representation.
The common law separation agreement should include details on the division of property, assets, and debts. This can include homes, cars, bank accounts, investments, and any other assets owned by the couple. It is essential to note that the division of property and assets may not be split equally, as each situation is unique.
Child custody and support also need to be addressed in the separation agreement. The agreement should outline who will have primary custody of the child or children, visitation rights, and how child support payments will be made. Spousal support may also be included in the agreement if one partner is financially dependent on the other.
It is important to note that a common law separation agreement is a legal document and should be drafted by a lawyer. The document must be signed by both parties and witnessed to be legally binding.
In conclusion, a common law separation agreement in New Brunswick can help ensure a smoother separation process for unmarried couples. It can establish guidelines for property division, child custody, and spousal support, and avoid lengthy and expensive court proceedings. Speak with a lawyer experienced in family law to learn more about drafting a common law separation agreement.